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From Plans to Reality - A New Build Timeline

Posted 13 November 2019 by Helen Christie

Granville Developments’ managing director, Matthew Firth, has put together a trustworthy timeline for every new build owner...

Purchasing an older, pre-established property is a process many are familiar with but this process differs greatly than what’s experienced when purchasing a new build. There are several stages that must be considered between the moments of your first meeting and collecting your keys.

Granville Developments’ managing director, Matthew Firth, has put together a trustworthy timeline, outlining the predicted stages that should be anticipated by every new build owner. It’s important to remember that the buyer’s timeline may differ to what’s presented in this article, however, he suggests the following:

Initial discussions

Once approved, the development plans will be examined by the developers. Work may commence immediately, however, some developers may take some time to begin. With this in mind, it is important for the buyer to contact the developer of the site as early as possible. This early contact is necessary so that a discourse, concerning the new build, can be had before building work begins.

From start to finish, it usually takes close to six months to build and complete a new home, and some developments may continue for a few months after the initial homes are completed. Because of this, it is worth bearing in mind that you may find yourself moving into a development site that remains active around you.

The early bird catches the worm

Choosing a new home early is a sensible decision for a new build buyer as this means you may have the option to adapt some elements of the interior layout or configuration. On top of that, it also offers the privilege of choosing the plot on which the home will be situated. Perhaps there is an option available to choose between a home that looks over the new village green, and another with a sunny garden that backs onto a field.

Cash and contracts

The developer will request a reservation fee once you have selected your preferred plot on your favourite development. This fee could be anything between £500 to several thousand, and is also non-refundable, but will often be subtracted from the final price once the build is complete. On top of this, the developer will ask for your solicitor to act on your behalf. This is so the solicitors can have free reign to scrutinize all of the legal paperwork, resulting in an exchange of contracts to formalise the purchase. This will usually happen 4-6 weeks after the reservation fee is paid.

Making more choices

The choices process will begin after contracts have been exchanged. This will involve the home builder inviting you to the showhome, development or their offices and offering the chance to have your say about the finalisation of the build. This could be anything that you would like to see, and not like to see, in the build; from the opportunity of free parking to the choice of fittings. Where a charge would normally be applied, the developer may offer a variety of these kind of options as incentives.

The final step

After a series of meetings, in which the development site’s sales/estate agents will examine various aspects of the build with you, a walk-around meeting will be arranged a few weeks before completion. This meeting is important as, whilst construction is in process, it is unlikely that you will be permitted to visit the property. This will give you an opportunity to identify any cosmetic details you’d like to have changed. These changes will be itemised and passed to the builder for rework at the soonest possible moment.


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New Homebuyers Guide
Together with Redrow, we’ve created a guide to take you through the whole process, step-by-step; from house-hunting to past moving-in day. There are handy tips on how to anticipate and avoid complications, and some advice on ways you can successfully purchase your ideal new home.

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